Graduate Record Examinations (GRE): Test, Score, and Practice Examples

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Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)

The GRE serves as a basis for business, law schools or graduate schools to measure an applicant’s preparedness for academic success. Achieving a good Graduate Record Examinations score is important to qualify for the schools. In order to prepare yourself for the GRE test, study and taking practice sample questions is beneficial between 4-12 weeks prior to the exam date.  

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE): General Test Structure 

The GRE or also known as Graduate Record Examinations is a test that is a requirement for the business or graduate school application process. It is a multiple-choice computer-delivered test that examines thinking capacity and writing skills to qualification and preparedness for academic demand.

What are the GRE Test Sections?

Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning are the test sections in GRE. 

What is the analytical writing section of the GRE? 

The Analytical Writing measures the test taker’s critical thinking and analytical writing skills along with the control of grammar and the essence of writing.

What is the verbal reasoning section of the GRE? 

The Verbal Reasoning measure of GRE focuses on vocabulary, reading comprehension, English grammar, and passage analysis. 

What is the quantitative reasoning section of the GRE? 

The Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE assesses a test taker’s basic mathematical skills, understanding of elementary mathematical concepts, and the ability to reason quantitatively and to model and solve problems with quantitative methods. 

What is the experimental or research section of GRE? 

The unscored and research sections of the GRE General Test are parts of the experimental section. This is an extra Verbal Reasoning or Quantitative Reasoning section but unscored. This part of the exam is not marked so an examinee would not know whether a section is a regular section or an unscored experimental one. Its purpose is for the test developers, Educational Testing Service (ETS), to test the difficulty of questions they are planning to use on future tests.

How many people take the GRE exam annually?       

There are more than 700,000 people worldwide taking the GRE exam every year.

Who Should Take the GRE Exam?

The applicants who should take the GRE exam are the following: 

  • Aspirants pursuing master’s degree
  • Students pursuing law school
  • Aspirants for Doctorate Degree
  • Aspirants pursuing MBA
  • Students pursuing specialized master’s course 

The list above shows GRE test takers who are prospective applicants for post graduate studies. 

How long does the GRE Exam Take?

The GRE exam takes 3 hours and 45 minutes.  

What is the difficulty level of the GRE?        

Medium difficulty is the hardness level of GRE. Comparing the GRE to LSAT or GMAT, the GRE is often referred to as less difficult because of the few challenging math questions. 

Why is the GRE Exam Important? 

The GRE Exam is important due to the following reasons: 

  • It is a requirement for graduate school admissions. 
  • It helps assess knowledge and skills preparedness level for graduate school. 
  • It can be a basis for scholarships and other financial aid grants. 

GRE Scores

A scaled score and percentile rank compose GRE Score Report. It is divided into three sections which are Analytical Writing, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning. 

What are the GRE Score Percentiles? 

GRE Score Percentiles indicate the percentage of fellow test-takers worldwide who scored below the examinee.

The GRE Score Percentile Ranks for Analytical Writing, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning can be found in this article: 

What is a Good GRE Score?

318 and above is a good GRE score. 

What is an average GRE score? 

300 GRE score is the average GRE score. 

How to Improve GRE score?

In order to improve your GRE score, follow these steps: 

  1. Assess if your previous GRE preparation and study plan is working or not. 
  2. Build a specific study schedule where you can commit. 
  3. Collect the data of your mistakes and focus on what you missed. 
  4. Take practice tests regularly. 

How long is a GRE score valid?

Five years validation is applicable for GRE scores following the examination date. 

What is the purpose of the GRE score?

The GRE score is used in the following: 

  • Assessment for graduate-level programs admission
  • Selection of applicants for law school admission
  • Selection of applicants for business school admission
  • Selection of awards for graduate applicants
  • Counseling for graduate study 

Is the GRE used for MBA admissions?

Yes, the GRE score is used for MBA admissions.  The list of schools accepting GRE are: 

  • Auburn University Auburn
  • Auburn University Montgomery (EMBA)
  • Alabama A & M University
  • Florida Institute of Technology Redstone
  • Samford University

Is GRE used for graduate school admission? 

Yes, GRE score is used by graduate schools to identify applicants who are academically equipped for graduate-level education. 

Is the GRE score used for law school admission? 

Yes, the GRE score is accepted for law school admission. The list of law schools accepting GRE score are: 

  • Albany Law School
  • American University Washington College of Law
  • Boston College Law School
  • Boston University School of Law
  • Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School

Is the GRE score accepted in Intellectual Clubs application?                                                                        

Yes, the GRE score is accepted to qualify for intellectual clubs such as Intertel, Mensa and Triple Nine Society. 

GRE Test Registration

Registration for the GRE test can be done online, via phone call, and via mail enrollment. 

What are the eligibility criteria of the GRE exam?

Undergraduate degree is the only eligibility criteria of the GRE exam. There are no other prescribed qualifications for GRE test takers. 

How to apply for the GRE?

Application for the GRE test can be done online, via phone call, and via mail enrollment. 

What is the registration process for the GRE exam?

GRE Test Registration is available for both paper-based and computer-generated exams. Registration for GRE on test centers must be done at least two days before the preferred date. Online home-based GRE exam registration is recommended 24 hours before the desired test date. Registration for the GRE test can be done online, via phone call, and via mail enrollment. 

What are the Identification Card requirements for the GRE registration? 

GRE test takers’ identification cards must meet the following criteria: 

  • Government ID. The ID must be government-issued by the country, state, or province where the test-taker resides. 
  • Date Validated ID. Expired identification cards are not accepted. The ID must have an unexpired valid date. 
  • Photo ID. The ID must include a recent and recognizable photograph of the examinee.
  • Signed ID. The signature and name of the examinee must match the ID provided. 

Identification cards must be presented by all test takers both online and at a test center. All Identification Card criteria must be followed to be eligible for the GRE test. 

Are there conditions in GRE Application? 

Undergraduate degree is the only criteria for GRE application. There is no specific age limit, course, nationality or gender required for application. 

GRE Testing Dates and Location

The paper-based GRE General Test is available at more than 1,000 testing centers in all 50 states and 160 countries. The GRE online test is taken home-based at any date and time. 

When to apply for the GRE exam? 

The best time to apply for the GRE exam is when: 

  • Graduated from college. After finishing a college degree and deciding to apply for graduate schools, application for the GRE exam can be conducted. 
  • Months before post-graduate school enrollment. Allot enough gap time in applying for the GRE test to avoid late enrollment for the postgraduate school. 

What is the Cost of the GRE Exam?

US$205.00 is the cost of the GRE General Test all over the world except in China and India. US$231.30 is the fee of the GRE test in China. On the other hand, India charges US$205.00 for GRE General Test Takers.   

When to take the GRE exam?

A few months before the deadline for graduate school application is the best time to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). This will allow test takers to retake the examination in case their score is lower than expected.

What is the Date of the GRE Exam?

The paper-based GRE test dates for 2023-2024 are as follows: 

  • September 25, 2023
  • October 8, 2023, October 24, 2023
  • November 6, 2023
  • April 7, 2024, April 20, 2024

The computer-based or online GRE dates for 2023-2024 are available all year-round, seven days a week. 

Can GRE be taken online?

Yes, the GRE can be taken online.  The GRE General Test online exam was conducted in response to the coronavirus pandemic last March 27, 2020. The GRE General Test at home is conducted in the test taker’s house. A human proctor online monitors all home tests through ProctorU. It is available worldwide except in Mainland China and Iran. 

What countries or regions can you take the GRE?

The United States, Canada, Australia, and 1000+ ETS-authorized test centers in 160+ countries administer the GRE General Test.

How does the computerized-adaptive GRE work?         

Computerized Adaptive Testing or CAT on GRE adjusts the exam’s level of difficulty based on the performance of the candidate. An easier question is given after a wrong answer was submitted. Respectively, a harder question is provided after a correct answer. The adaptive technology conforms to the test taker’s ability and knowledge. 

How to Prepare for the GRE?

In preparing for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), one must devote time and effort to succeed in passing this test. There are lots of resources available – online and offline – for those who aspire to prepare for the exam. Even the organization who administers the GRE, the Educational Testing Services (ETS), provides practice tests and sample questions online. There are also review centers that accept enrollees who wish to prepare and pass the GRE. They usually provide prep courses, books, and other useful materials. 

How to create a GRE study plan?

A study schedule tailored to fit one’s needs, personality, learning style, lifestyle, strengths, and weaknesses is the perfect framework to have. One that is not only comprehensive but also adaptable and effective. Having a GRE preparation plan will be a big help in using time efficiently and to stay on track. 

The steps and key points to consider in making a GRE schedule are listed below.

  1. Select a date to take the GRE Test. 

First things first. Make sure that you have booked a schedule on the ETS website.

  1. Review the GRE Test Format and Test Structure.

By reviewing these, you get a glimpse of what to expect on the test day. List what topics are included in each test section, the skills measured, how tests are scored, question types, and sample questions.

  1.  Take a GRE practice test. 

Taking a diagnostic test will help you know your strengths and weaknesses. 

  1. Know your time.

Compute how much time you have before the test and how many hours you can devote every day to study.

  1. Know your goal.

Is your goal to pass or to ace it? Know what you want to achieve and what scores you desire to get. This will help you stay on track and focus on your goal. 

  1. Develop a study plan. 

Now that you know the test format, test structure, your strengths and weaknesses, and time you have, it’s time to curate a study schedule. You must allocate daily study time based on when your test is due. Remember also to tailor your schedule based on your strong and weak points, and other obligations. Unexpected events may happen so be open to changes and adjustments along the way. Be flexible.

  1. Decide whether to enroll in a review class or to self-study.

Some people learn better when they are alone while there are also others who like to study in groups. Assess yourself to which group you belong to. Having a study buddy can also help most people. 

  1. Gather study materials.

Whether you take a review class, with a buddy or alone, gathering resources from the library and online will be very helpful. These include courses, practice tests, books, and other materials. 

  1. Learn strategies.

As time goes by, you learn things that don’t work best for you but also get new discoveries that are of big help for your learning journey. 

  1. Monitor your progress.

Set a schedule of taking diagnostic tests to gauge your process. After days or weeks of starting a review, check whether there are improvements in your scores. This will also help you check your progress.  

  1. Address weak points

Make sure to consider your flaws and spend more time on concepts and ideas you do not excel at. Challenge yourself with tough questions and learn strategies on how to answer these.

  1. Work smart.

Last but not the least, work smart. Be consistent, focus, do what you can and never be discouraged from your progress. 

What are the most useful methods in preparing for the GRE?

The best methods to use in preparation for the GRE are listed below:

  • Practice Tests
  • Prep Courses
  • Study Books
  • Prep Test Videos
  • Study Applications
  • Tutors
  • Flashcards

Common methods for the GRE prep are listed above. To raise your GRE score, you must figure out the best method that would work for you. But devoting sufficient time to review and practice is a need that should not be overlooked. 

What are the Common Mistakes while Preparing for the GRE?

The usual mistakes committed in preparing for the GRE are listed below.

  1. Procrastination and cramming
  2. Studying without a plan
  3. Focusing on one section and miss studying the other sections
  4. Lack knowledge of the test format and test structure
  5. Lack of test materials and resources
  6. Studying in a non-conducive learning environment
  7. Not understanding and not addressing weak points
  8. Does not maximize personal learning style
  9. Overworking and underworking

How long should I study for the GRE?

1 to 6 months is the usual time frame allotted to review by people who take the GRE Test. This depends on the test schedule, desired test scores, skills, personal situation, and others.

What are the tips for using time efficiently while doing the GRE exam? 

  • Spend Less Time On Simple Questions. Solve the simple questions fast to allot more time for questions with higher difficulty level. 
  • Skip Difficult Questions and Attempt Answering Later.  Do not focus on difficult questions. If you do not have any idea on how to solve or answer the question, move to the following questions. Attempt answering or guessing after the test taker has finished the whole section. 
  • Try The Process of Elimination. Narrowing down the choices is helpful for test takers who do not know the correct answer. Cross out answer choices that are irrelevant and incorrect to derive a probable answer. 

GRE Question Samples

Below are practice questions with answers and explanations which will be a big help in attaining an examinee’s target GRE score.

GRE Verbal Reasoning Sample Questions with Answers and Explanations

The sample questions and answers for GRE Verbal Reasoning can be found below.

Sample Question 1

It was her view that the country’s problems had been _______ by foreign technocrats, so that to ask for such assistance again would be counterproductive.

A. ameliorated
B. ascertained
C. diagnosed
D. exacerbated
E. overlooked
F. worsened

Correct Answer: The correct answer is Choice D (exacerbated) and Choice F (worsened).

Explanation: The sentence relates a piece of reasoning, as indicated by the presence of “so that”: asking for the assistance of foreign technocrats would be counterproductive because of the effects such technocrats have had already. This means that the technocrats must have bad effects; i.e., they must have “exacerbated” or “worsened” the country’s problems.
Sample Question 2

In parts of the Arctic, the land grades into the landfast ice so _______ that you can walk off the coast and not know you are over the hidden sea.

(A) permanently
(B) imperceptibly
(C) irregularly
(D) precariously
(E) relentlessly 

Correct Answer: The correct answer is Choice B (imperceptibly).

Explanation: The word that fills the blank has to characterize how the land grades into the ice in a way that explains how you can walk off the coast and over the sea without knowing it. The word that does that is “imperceptibly”; if the land grades imperceptibly into the ice, you might well not know that you had left the land. Describing the shift from land to ice as permanent, irregular, precarious, or relentless would not help to explain how you would fail to know.

GRE Quantitative Reasoning Sample Question with Answer and Explanation

The sample questions and answers for GRE Quantitative Reasoning can be found below.

Sample Question 1

Quantity A Quantity B
x squared, + 12x, minus 1

A. Quantity A is greater.

B. Quantity B is greater.

C. The two quantities are equal.

D. The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.

Correct Answer: The correct answer is Choice A, Quantity A is greater.

Set up the initial comparison:

x2+ 1 ? 2x-1

Then simplify by noting that the quadratic polynomial x2-2x+1  can be factored:

Step 1: Subtract 2x from both sides to get x2-2x+1 ? -1  

Step 2: Factor the left-hand side to get (x-1)2 ? -1  

The left-hand side of the comparison is the square of a number. Since the square of a number is always greater than or equal to 0, and 0 is greater than -1 the simplified comparison is the inequality (x-1)2>-1 and the resulting relationship is greater than (>). In reverse order, each simplification step implies the inequality greater than (>) in the preceding comparison. Therefore, Quantity A is greater than Quantity B. 
Sample Question 2

Figure 7

Results of a Used-Car Auction 

Small Cars Large Cars

Number of cars offered3223
Number of cars sold1620
Projected sales total for cars offered (in thousands)$70$150
Actual sales total (in thousands)$41$120

For the large cars sold at an auction that is summarized in the table above, what was the average sale price per car?

$The answer space consists of a dollar sign, followed by a box for the answer.

Correct Answer:  The correct answer is $6,000 (or equivalent).


From Figure 7, you see that the number of large cars sold was 20 and the sales total for large cars was $120,000 (not $120). Thus the average sale price per car was $120,00020=$6,000 

(In numbers that are 1,000 or greater, you do not need to enter commas in the answer box.)

GRE Analytical Writing Question Samples with Answers

Sample essays followed by a rater’s response has been provided by the ETS in their official website. There were samples and comments for each score. The comments explained how the responders meet the organization’s criteria. This helps prospective test takers to get an idea of what a good GRE essay would look like.

GRE Preparation Tips

Preparing for the GRE Test is vital to successfully pass or even ace the exam. The following are strategies that would be helpful to those who aspire to improve their GRE test score and prepare more effectively.

GRE Verbal Reasoning Preparation Tips

To prepare yourself for the GRE Verbal Reasoning Test, the methods below can be followed.

  1. Evaluate yourself.

Take diagnostic and practice tests to assess your knowledge of the topics under the Verbal Reasoning section. Know your strengths and areas that need improvements. 

  1. Expand your vocabulary.

Memorize a lot of vocabulary but do not forget to work on your grammar, too. These will help in the Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence type of questions. 

  1. Apply what you learn.

Learning the words is not enough. It is better to use them in everyday conversations to reinforce yourself with its definition and use.

  1. Develop a habit of reading.

To master reading comprehension, read articles, books, or newspapers and practice reading strategically. Remember the three points to think about in reading passages – the topic, scope, and purpose.

  1. Do plenty of practice tests.

Answering practice tests can help a test taker be familiar with the test structure and test format. This will also help develop a sense of pacing and use of time efficiently. 

GRE Quantitative Reasoning Preparation Tips 

To prepare yourself for the GRE Quantitative Reasoning Test, the methods below can be followed.

  1. Master and solve different question formats.

There are three quantitative question formats in the GRE. Being familiar with these three will help you adapt to and handle the tasks in the test. Make sure that your practice tests cover different formats.

  1. Use test preparation resources.

Use test preparation resources like books, courses, and online tests to understand what is being tested. This will also help you be familiar with testing tools like online calculators. 

  1. Get a general idea of your weak areas

One way to discover your weak areas is to look back at the questions you missed on the practice tests. Analyze your mistakes by looking for patterns of weakness among these and try to strengthen it by targeting lapses during review sessions. 

  1. Look for shortcuts.

When reviewing your answers, look for shortcuts or easier ways in solving problems. Using shortcuts will help you finish faster during the test proper. Practice using the shortcuts you discovered and utilize them during practice tests to retain the alternate methods. 

  1. Learn the basic and complex topics. 

Learn and strategize. Be sure to know the basic mathematical concepts before jumping into the next topics. Building a strong foundation is important to be able to understand more complex ideas. 

GRE Analytical Writing Preparation Tips

To prepare yourself for the GRE Analytical Writing Assessment, the methods below can be followed.

  1. Practice writing essays.

Work on improving your writing skills by writing essays. Through this, you will be better at writing compelling statements. Focus on different topics, issues and arguments each time and have someone evaluate your output. 

  1. Research.

Doing comprehensive research will contribute to your writing and make them more factual, informative, and elaborate.

  1.  Find time to improve your essay.

Knowing the mistakes on past essays pushes a writer to correct these and starts to foresee such in the future. Be mindful and conscious of these mistakes in writing so that you’ll reinforce yourself not to do it until your test date.

  1. Read sample essays.

Read sample essays, responses and rater commentaries. This way you will know how to write one and how to score one. Also, this will give you a different perspective on how to respond to issues and arguments. 

  1. Work on your English.

This includes working on your English grammar, spelling, and vocabulary. 

GRE Experimental or Research Section Preparation Tips 

In order to prepare for the GRE Experimental Section, follow these steps: 

  • Take practice tests for the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning section. The unscored GRE Experimental section can be a question relating to verbal or quantitative reasoning. It is best to prepare for both types of questions. 
  • Train yourself during the GRE study plan that a random question must be answered. The GRE Experimental section can appear randomly at any time. Including it during a time tracker mock trial would be helpful. 

Even if the experimental section is unmarked, following the steps above will help in practicing how to answer GRE questions and using test time wisely.

What is the GRE Essay?

The GRE Essay, also known as the GRE Analytical Writing Section, evaluates one’s ability to clearly explain complex ideas, evaluate claims and arguments, and maintain a consistent and systematic discussion. It has two parts, the Analyze an Issue Task and Analyze an Argument Task.

How to write a perfect GRE Essay?

Ways on how to get a perfect score in the GRE essay are listed below:

  • Be familiar with the pool of topics
  • Know how the essays are scored
  • Practice writing every day during the preparation
  • Use specific, real-world examples in your passage
  • Make sure to prove your point and focus on it
  • Avoid using first person pronouns
  • Make sure that your ideas are organized and clear to the reader

The ways to get a perfect GRE Analytical Writing score listed above can help in boosting your chances of graduate school admissions.

GRE Experimental or Research Section Question Samples with Answers

The questions in the research section may be verbal or quantitative. Sample research questions can be found below:  

Sample Question 1: A certain jar contains 60 jelly beans — 22 white, 18 green, 11 yellow, 5 red, and 4 purple. If a jelly bean is to be chosen at random, what is the probability that the jelly bean will be neither red nor purple?

  1. 0.09
  2. 0.15
  3. 0.54
  4. 0.85
  5. 0.91

Correct answer: Choice D, 0.85

Explanation: Since there are 5 red and 4 purple jelly beans in the jar, there are 51 that are neither red nor purple and the probability of selecting one of these is 5160Since all of the answer choices are decimals, you must convert the fraction to its decimal equivalent, 0.85. 

Sample Question 2: Sample questions below are based on this passage:

Reviving the practice of using elements of popular music in classical composition, an approach that had been in hibernation in the United States during the 1960s, composer Philip Glass (born 1937) embraced the ethos of popular music in his compositions. Glass based two symphonies on music by rock musicians David Bowie and Brian Eno, but the symphonies’ sound is distinctively his. Popular elements do not appear out of place in Glass’s classical music, which from its early days has shared certain harmonies and rhythms with rock music. Yet this use of popular elements has not made Glass a composer of popular music. His music is not a version of popular music packaged to attract classical listeners; it is high art for listeners steeped in rock rather than the classics.

The passage addresses which of the following issues related to Glass’s use of popular elements in his classical compositions?

  1. How it is regarded by listeners who prefer rock to the classics
  2. How it has affected the commercial success of Glass’s music
  3. Whether it has contributed to a revival of interest among other composers in using popular elements in their compositions
  4. Whether it has had a detrimental effect on Glass’s reputation as a composer of classical music
  5. Whether it has caused certain of Glass’s works to be derivative in quality

Correct Answer: Choice E

Sample Question 3: Consider each of the three choices separately and select all that apply.

The passage suggests that Glass’s work displays which of the following qualities?

  1. A return to the use of popular music in classical compositions
  2. An attempt to elevate rock music to an artistic status more closely approximating that of classical music
  3. A long-standing tendency to incorporate elements from two apparently disparate musical styles

Correct Answer: A and C

Are there GRE PDF examples?

Yes, there are GRE practice tests in PDF format available online. It can be found at the official ETS website. The organization offers a wide variety of free practice tests for aspiring applicants or test takers. 

GRE vs. Other Admission Tests

Taking a graduate admission test is one of the requirements in applying to a graduate school. Each graduate school has a different required standardized test to pass. These tests are designed to assess one’s aptitude or the ability to succeed in postgraduate school. Standardized tests related to graduate study include the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), Law School Admission Test (LSAT), Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT), Miller Analogies Test (MAT), and more. The similarities and differences between these tests and the GRE are discussed below.


The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) differ in aspects like the target audience, who requires the test, purpose, test duration, scoring, and cost. The main difference between the GRE vs GMAT tests is that the GRE is taken by prospective graduate students across all disciplines while the GMAT is taken by business school applicants. The only similarity these two sets share is their validity which is five years.


The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and Law School Admission Test (LSAT) differ in almost all the aspects including the target audience, who requires the test, purpose, test duration, scoring, and cost. The main difference between the GRE vs LSAT tests is that the GRE is a general test for applicants for graduate-level study while the LSAT is designed to measure skills necessary to succeed in law school. On the other hand, the two tests are only similar in their validity which is five years. 


The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) between Miller Analogies Test (MAT) differ in aspects including the duration, who requires the test, test duration, scoring, and cost. The main difference between the GRE vs. MAT tests is that the GRE is more widely accepted than the MAT. The similarities these two sets share are their validity and purpose. 

How Does the GRE Compare to GMAT, MAT and LSAT?

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) differs from tests like Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), Miller Analogies Test (MAT), and Law School Admission Test (LSAT) in aspects including its purpose, target audience, who requires the test, duration, scoring, and cost. The GRE Test is a general test that assesses prospective graduate students across all disciplines. On the other hand, the other standardized tests measure skills needed for particular programs like a business for the GMAT and law for the LSAT. These tests are all standardized measures that signify consistent administration and scoring of tests.

Can the GRE be used for medical school admissions?

No, the GRE cannot be used for medical school admissions. Instead, medical schools require applicants to submit Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores for consideration. 

What is the history of the GRE?

The GRE General test was created in 1949 by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The test was developed to measure skills such as Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Critical Thinking, and Analytical Writing. These tests are prepared by a group of researchers, educational policy specialists, statisticians, and test developers.

Who runs the GRE?

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) created and administers the GRE.

What languages are used in the GRE exam?

English is the only language used in the GRE. It is a standardized test so it will only be in English even if it is taken in countries where it is only the second language. 

What is the Criticism of the GRE exam?

Limitations and obstacles posed by the GRE have been expressed over the years. Critics see that the GRE fails to embrace student diversity. Specifically, they see that this exam underpredicts the success of women, minorities, and poor students with high academic potential though having a low GRE score. Relatively, studies show that a high GRE score has a correlation with a test taker’s gender, race, and socioeconomic status. Experts criticized universities that require a very high GRE score for undermining diversity.

Bias for the GRE Exam

Racial bias and predictive validity are the biases observed by critiques on GRE. It has been observed in studies that the test can only predict performance in the first year of graduate school and not success in the whole postgraduate journey. Also, the test was evaluated to undermine student diversity. Despite all these, the ETS has urged that fairness and validity are still on their top priorities.

Is Cheating Possible in the GRE exam?

Unfortunately, yes. Cheating is possible in the GRE Test at Home format. This test has been known to have a historical susceptibility to cheating.

Does GRE indicate graduate school performance?

Yes, according to research, GRE is a moderate predictor of graduate students’ first semester grades. But it is viewed as a weak to moderate predictor of Grade Point Average or GPA. Still, the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) helps universities decide whether an aspiring graduate student has the intellectual ability needed to survive extremely stressful situations. 

Where are the locations of the paper-based GRE exam?

The paper-based GRE General Test is available at more than 1000 testing centers in all 50 states and 160 countries.

What Languages are used in the GRE exam?

English is the only language used in the GRE. It is a standardized test so it will only be in English even if it is taken in countries where it is only the second language. 

GRE General Test vs. GRE Subject Test

The GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test have several differences. These are listed below:


  • Type of Exam: The General Test is a standardized general test while the Subject Test is a specialized subject test.
  • Purpose: The GRE General Test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills. On the other hand, the GRE Subject Test is taken to prove knowledge on a specific subject area.
  • Sections: The General Test has 3 sections – Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment while there are 4 Subject Tests for specific subjects like Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Psychology.
  • Test Duration: The GRE General Test may be taken for 3 hours and 45 minutes whereas the GRE Subject Test for 2 hours and 50 minutes.
  • Test Format: In the General Test, test takers may choose whether to take the computer-based or paper-based exam. In the Subject Test, there are no other options but paper-based. 
  • Exam Dates: The GRE General Test – Computer-Based version can be taken throughout the year while the GRE General Test – Paper-Based version and the GRE Subject Test are conducted every April, September, and October. 
  • Cost: The GRE General Test costs US$205.00 USD while the GRE Subject Test costs US$105.00 per test.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Subject Test: Content and Structure

The GRE Subject Test is taken to prove knowledge and achievement on a specific subject or field of study. It helps university departments assess whether an applicant is ready for graduate school. This test is administered for 2 hours and 50 minutes in a paper-delivered format. Compared to the GRE General Test, the Subject Test has no separately timed sections. Currently, there are 4 different Subject Tests. These are Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and Psychology. Other subjects like Biology, English Literature and Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology were discontinued in the previous years.  

What are the GRE Subjects Tests offered?

The GRE Subject Tests offered are:

Chemistry: This subject highlights its four fields namely Analytical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Physical Chemistry. There are approximately 130 multiple-choice questions on this subject.

Mathematics: This subject has approximately 66 multiple-choice questions which cover topics in Calculus and Algebra. Fifty percent of the questions involve twenty-five percent Algebra and twenty-five percent for the other topics in mathematics like analysis, discrete mathematics, and others.

Physics: This subject intends to determine an examinee’s understanding of the basic principles and ability to apply such in solving given problems. The problems are grouped in sets and are based on diagrams, graphs, experimental data, and descriptions of physical situations. There are nine topics under this subject such as Classical Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Optics and Wave Phenomena, Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, Atomic Physics, Special Relativity, Laboratory Methods, and other specialized topics. It has approximately 100 five-choice questions.

Psychology: This subject covers topics under the Biological, Cognitive, Social, Developmental, Clinical, and other areas of Psychology. It approximately has 205 multiple-choice questions. It may require an examinee to analyze relationships, apply principles, draw conclusions from data and assess a research design.